Madeira to Lanzarote Day 1

Tuesday, May 7

James’ anchor-up to 1600 watch

We’re off! 

Before the hat went overboard...

No forecast in hand because neither of us had time left on our data sims. We tried calling two different boats on VHF but got no response. I don’t know whether they weren’t listening to channel 16, which would be rather scandalous, or chose not to talk to us. Both boats were French and we hailed them in English, after all.

James’ 1700-1800 watch

Our morning arrival in Madeira gave us all day to do chores and we still had time to get a nap in! It felt good. 

The lifeline netting was so worn from being bleached and then being exposed to UV full time for years that it was just coming apart. We removed it and added replacement netting to the shopping list.

We got a great deal on 316 grade stainless steel tube fittings from Sailrite when we did the electric motor conversion, but one piece has been driving us crazy. The support tube for the newer, 48v wind generator has an end fitting with an eye that goes to a base with a pin. The pin is a loose fit and it both rattles and lets the top portion of the tower move forward and aft. Just a little, but enough to be irritating. After trying some fancy fixes, we went simple: wrapping electrical tape around the pin. We’ll see!

The head’s intake hose started leaking on the last leg from Madeira and, believe me, that’s the best case scenario when you suddenly have wetness under the pump. Any other part of the system and the leakage does not consist of good clean seawater. The diagnosis was a stripped hose clamp, so I pulled the thing off and replaced it. The hose is a little screwed up under there so, when we add a vented loop, we’ll trim it back some. 

Meanwhile, James made our adjustable solar panel braces less adjustable. Shockingly, the cheap pieces of shit we bought on Azhole were really cheap pieces of shit, and they have corroded enough that the plastic latches that keep them extended won’t engage. Now that he drilled holes and threaded in fasteners, the panels are either up or down, but that’s better than not having an “up” option. 

While he was doing that, he inspected the hinges and found a loose nut. So loose, in fact, that it fell in the water when he touched it. The awkward access meant replacing that was a two person job.

Then, this morning, we tightened the tiller head fitting again, and patched a tiny hole in the main where it looks like it got pinched somehow. Above the second reef. I have no idea how that happened. 

The pink

And now we’re back in the big ocean. A southeast setting current and a northeast wind have us beating toward the Ilhas Desertas. I think we’ll be nearby for sunset. I’m hoping for good light!

... about to shake a reef!

Wednesday, May 8

Dena’s 2400-0300 watch

Navigating downwind of the Big Islands was serious work. The wind kept changing direction and strength over and over and over again. Sail trim was all I did on my last one hour watch. James reports that he had the same experience. 

Now that we’re clear of them, the wind is steady. The waves aren’t splashing me or making anything dangerous. The wind is forward of the beam enough that we are doing quite a bit of heeling but we’re also making pretty good speed.

I’m excited to report that Beluga Greyfinger is doing excellently well. He stayed on the bunk for a couple hours after we weighed anchor but he often takes his afternoon nap there anyway. He jumped down and hung out in the saloon very quickly and has eaten. I think we’re all acclimated to being underway well enough one day at anchor didn’t make us forget how to do this thing.

... counting sunsets

Noon position: N 31° 47.904’ W 016° 07.194’
Distance 1530 to noon: 66.9 NM
Average speed: 3.28 kn
Trip distance covered: 66.9 NM
Distance to destination: 215.2 NM


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